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Chris W. Cox

Meet NRA-ILA's Executive Director

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, since 2002.

As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association¹s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

Directing NRA’s nationwide legislative and political efforts, Cox develops and executes independent, political campaign and legislative initiatives; coordinates national advertising and direct mail programs; and has administrative responsibility over NRA-ILA’s $33 million budget. He also serves as chairman on President Trump's Second Amendment Coalition and as the principal contact to the Association's principal contact with the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the White House and federal agencies.

Under Cox’s leadership, NRA has achieved some of its most significant political and legislative victories: most recently, the outcome of the 2016 elections; legislation to protect American firearm manufacturers from reckless lawsuits brought by anti-gun mayors and gun control groups; a federal law, as well as laws in many states, to prevent government authorities from confiscating firearms from lawful citizens in the wake of natural disasters, such as occurred after Hurricane Katrina; legislation to allow lawful concealed-carry permit holders to carry firearms in national parks; Castle Doctrine legislation; and more.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 2008 Heller decision that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms for personal protection, Cox directed swift action to file legal challenges against gun bans in San Francisco and Chicago. In 2010, the Court heard NRA’s legal arguments that the Heller decision should not just apply to federal enclaves, but to every individual, law-abiding American, regardless of where he or she lives. In June 2010, by a 5-4 decision, the Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for all Americans.

As chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund, Cox has directed NRA’s electoral campaigns at every level. From presidential campaigns to congressional, state and local races, NRA has achieved success at unprecedented levels. Today, NRA members benefit from tremendous political support in congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative offices across the country. National television networks and cable news outlets, in addition to prominent daily and weekly publications, often seek Cox¹s insight on policy and political matters. He was a prime time speaker during the Republican National Convention in 2016, has been published in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and other publications defending gun rights and responding to media inaccuracies on a variety of firearm, hunting and NRA-related matters.

Prior to joining NRA, Cox served as a senior legislative aide in Congress, managing issues relating to the judicial system, criminal justice reform and firearm freedoms. He is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in business administration. He grew up hunting and fishing with his father and three brothers in west Tennessee. Cox resides in Virginia with his family.

 

From this Contributor
Working Together to Save the Second Amendment: Part 1

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment: Part 1

Promoting the defense of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms of NRA’s more than 5 million members, ...

With Proposed Federal Legislation, Anti-gun Advocates Seek to Impose May-Issue Gun Ownership

News  

Thursday, May 2, 2019

With Proposed Federal Legislation, Anti-gun Advocates Seek to Impose May-Issue Gun Ownership

In 1987, only ten states had concealed carry laws that treated the Right-to-Carry in a manner consistent with ...

Supreme Court to Review New York City Gun Control Law

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Supreme Court to Review New York City Gun Control Law

A headline in Reason Magazine said it all: “Have Gun, Can’t Travel.” That’s the plight of New York ...

Feinstein Pushes to Ban America’s Most Popular Firearm, Again

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Feinstein Pushes to Ban America’s Most Popular Firearm, Again

It’s been nearly 25 years since Dianne Feinstein uttered those words while discussing the 1994 ban on semiautomatic ...

What Lurks Behind "Universal" Background Checks

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Friday, February 22, 2019

What Lurks Behind "Universal" Background Checks

In January, while the United States government was still partially shut down, anti-gun members of the U.S. House ...

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

News  

Friday, February 22, 2019

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

Gun controllers have become increasingly frustrated that their federal agenda has been repeatedly rejected by Americans through their ...

Congressman Eric Swalwell’s Radioactive “Common Ground”

News  

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Congressman Eric Swalwell’s Radioactive “Common Ground”

Those who oppose our Right to Keep and Bear Arms have been mislabeling NRA as “extremists” for decades, ...

Midterms 2018:  Get Ready for the Battles to Come

News  

Friday, December 21, 2018

Midterms 2018: Get Ready for the Battles to Come

Although election results are still coming in as I write this, the overall picture of the 2018 midterm ...

There’s Nothing Grassroots About Bloomberg-backed Gun Control

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

There’s Nothing Grassroots About Bloomberg-backed Gun Control

By now you know the media narrative: young Americans are uniformly working together on “grassroots” anti-gun activism in ...

Don’t Let Your State’s Governor Mansion Become a Gun-Free Home

News  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Don’t Let Your State’s Governor Mansion Become a Gun-Free Home

While Congressional elections will likely get the lion’s share of media coverage leading up to November 6, gun ...

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.